“To practice self-leadership is to be creative, seeing yourself as primarily a ‘producer’ rather than a consumer in and of life. You are the artist; your life is the work of art!”
Dear Integral Meditators,
I’ve been teaching mindful self-leadership as a central part of my training programs for about a decade now. The way I understand and practice it, with mindful self-leadership there are ‘five-selves’ you need to cultivate in order to develop your competency in this art. The article below gives an outline of the five, and some context for them.
If you enjoy the article, then do check out the mindful self-leadership workshop & six week course that I’ll be putting on in June!
Final heads up for this Saturday’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat,
In the spirit of self-leadership,
Becoming a Self-determining entity – Five stages to mindful self-leadership
I’ve been teaching mindful self-leadership as a central part of my training programs for about a decade now. The way I understand and practice it, mindful self-leadership means:
- To become a self-determining and self-directing entity
- To be pro-active in the face of life’s challenges and uncertainties
- To be creative, primarily a ‘producer’ rather than a consumer in life. You are the artist; your life is the work of art!
- To take joy in your own intelligence and its function
- To run towards reality rather than away from it
- To commit to developing a healthy-high functioning ego (which is a completely different thing from being an ‘egotist’!)
- To assume radical accountability/ownership for your life
Below are the ‘five selves’ that you need to grow within yourself in order to become good at self-leadership. I wrote these down in 2011. With a few small edits today, they are now a part of this article, and the ‘road map’ for you to begin your own self-leadership journey. I’m leaving them as ‘cliff notes’ for you just to read over, enjoy and allow yourself to respond inwardly to the ideas they stimulate:
Self-Awareness – Committing to be aware of your reality, that is your feelings, needs, desires, ideas, evaluations and behavior.
Self-Acceptance – A refusal to turn away from, deny or disown any of your own inner experiences, behaviors, or other aspects of yourself as they arise. Self-acceptance means not necessarily to approve of these things, but to accept them as real and to accept them as your own. It means acknowledging your experience of reality not just intellectually but also emotionally and experientially.
Self-Responsibility – Means taking responsibility for being the cause of your own choices and the cause of one’s own actions. Not responsibility in terms of moral blame but in terms of recognizing you are the chief causal agent in your life and behavior.
More than this, self-responsibility means acceptance of full responsibility for your own existence, for your
- Metaphysical aloneness
- And for the achievement of your own goals; no one but you is coming to save you or take responsibility for them
Self-Assertiveness – Means being able to assert your:
- Your desires and judgments
- Your needs
- Your right to exist and be happy
These first four provide the basis for you to develop the internal processes that lead a fulfilled and ethical life based around authentic value judgments and personal integrity
Self-transcendence (Awakening) – Means learning to recognize the formless timeless, essentially aware (and ‘enlightened’?) dimension of yourself, integrating it into your day to day experience of who you are and what you do. Furthermore, to access the creative, regenerative, intuitive and evolutionary capacities of our transcendent-self and integrating them in real and tangible ways into our reality.
And these five then lead to….Self-Leadership – The capacity to lead yourself to the fulfillment of your own authentic needs, desires and happiness in life whilst simultaneously accessing your awakened self and using its capacities to live a life of service others and to the greater whole.
To say “I love you” one must first learn to say the ‘I’ – Ayn Rand
Related article: Egotistic or strong ego?
© Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:
Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)
Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (East Coast)
Ongoing Tues/Weds, 7.30-8.30pm – Meditations for thriving and energy creation – An eight week course
Tues 30th/Weds 31st May – Wesak meditation
Saturday May 27th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat
Saturday June 10th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Leadership: A Three-hour mindfulness & meditation workshop
Starts Tues/Weds, June 13th/14th – Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership
Saturday June 24th, 9.00am-5pm – Taoist Breathwork Day Meditation Retreat